Rio 2016 Olympics Previews: Paltrinieri-Sun Showdown Leads Men’s 1500

Men’s 1500 Freestyle

The men’s 1500 is shaping up to be one of the best battles in Rio.  In one corner, we have the defending Olympic champion and world record holder.  In the other corner, an upstart 21-year-old who has (perhaps temporarily) taken the throne as the world’s premier distance swimmer.  While who gets his hand on the wall first is in question, we’re certain about one thing: this will be the fastest 1500 field of all time.  Eight swimmers have broken 14:50 since the start of 2014, three of whom have lifetime bests under 14:40.  Overall, it will likely take somewhere in the 14:50-14:53 range to final.
To keep track of all of these guys, we’ve split the field into a few groups:

The Italian Stallions

Italy hasn’t won a men’s Olympic medal since 2004, but with distance training partners Gregorio Paltrinieri and Gabrielle Detti (both 21 years old, born just one week apart) on hand, odds are they’ll break that streak in Rio.  Paltrinieri has been the best distance swimmer on the planet since the end of 2013, recording the world’s #1 short course and long course 1500 times each of the past three calendar years.  In Kazan last summer, he won gold in the 1500, and was neck-and-neck with Sun Yang through 750 meters of the 800 (Sun’s toughest challenge to date).  Behind incredible short course performances from December and his record-breaking 14:34.04 at the European Championships in May, Paltrinieri has all the momentum on his side to win in Rio.

Detti doesn’t have the same medal count as Paltrinieri, but has recorded top ten 1500 times each of the past three seasons, as well, headlined by breakthrough 14:46.48 at Italian Nationals that makes him the third-fastest swimmer in 2016.  Two months later, he won three medals, including gold in the 400, at the European Championships.

The Defending Champion

The key hurdle in Paltrinieri’s is a big one: world record holder Sun Yang.  Although he hasn’t lost a major international race of 400 meters or longer since 2011, Sun hasn’t been close to his personal bests from the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.  Injuries (he’s been battling a foot injury since January) and incidents could definitely have played a role; the defending Olympic gold medalist has frequented the tabloids, including a positive drug test, a fall-out with long-time coach Zhu Zhigen, an incident in the Kazan warm-up pool, and legal issues stemming from a 2013 car crash.  However, after an impressive showing in Santa Clara at an Arena Pro Swim Series event where he posted the world’s top 200 time and #2 400 time, it’s clear Sun has plenty in the tank to defend his title.

The [North] Americans

Three North American swimmers will be in the hunt: Canadian Ryan Cochrane, and Americans Connor Jaeger and Jordan Wilimovsky.  Cochrane brings more international experience (2006 Pan Pacs vs. 2012 Olympics for Jaeger vs. 2015 for Wilimovsky), more hardware (24 medals at major international meets vs. 5 for Jaeger, vs. 1 for Wilimovsky), and a faster personal best (14:39.63 vs. 14:41.20 vs. 14:49.19) to the table, but Jaeger has had the upper hand the past two years.  In 2014, Jaeger came up golden in the 1500 at Pan Pacs, and bettered his Canadian counterpart again last summer at Worlds in both the 800 and 1500.

In addition, Jaeger carries maybe the strongest momentum coming into this meet outside of Detti and Paltrinieri.  He was perhaps the top-performing American male across the board last summer in Kazan, where he posted an American-record-smashing 14:41.20 to earn silver in the 1500.  He was just 14:47.61 in Omaha last month, but after securing an Olympic birth the opening night in the 400 with a lifetime-best 3:43.79, it’s possible he amped up the training a bit more in practice, rather than spending eight days in “race day” mode less than two months before Rio.

Meanwhile, Cochrane’s times have slipped since he became the first swimmer from the Americas to crack the 14:40 barrier at the 2012 Olympics:

Ryan Cochrane 1500m bests, by season
2012:
14:39.63
2013: 
14:42.48
2014: 14:44.03
2015: 14:51.08
2016: 15:00.79

Given him qualifying out of Canadian Olympic Trials was all but a “sure thing”, his 15:00 isn’t particularly alarming (he was just 15:09 at 2012 Canadian Trials, for comparison).  However, with a stronger set of medal challengers this time around, he will need to get back towards the 14:40 mark to contend.

Wilimovsky will be in the mix, as well, after his 14:49.19 at U.S. Olympic Trials.  Although this is his first big-time international experience in a pool event, Wilimovsky is the defending world champion in the 10K open water.  What remains to be seen, however, is whether or not his open water preparations impede his 1500; the 10K is less than 72 hours after the 1500 final in the pool.

Mack and Jack

Like Italy, Australia also possesses an impressive young distance duo that appears to be hitting their stride at the right time. 21-year-old Mack Horton and 20-year-old Jack McLoughlin each crushed their personal bests at Australian Trials, with Horton dropping five seconds to clock a then-world-best 14:39.54, and McLoughlin cutting 25 seconds to earn the second spot in 14:48.60.  Horton has been considered the future of Australian distance freestyle since he swept the 200, 400, 800, and 1500 at the 2013 World Junior Championships, and while his showing in Kazan was sub-par, he’s clearly rebounded with a front-half of 2016.

The Rest

  • South Korea’s Park Tae-Hwan will be competing in Rio, following his official reinstatement last month.  Park typically leverages his world-reknowned easy speed to compete in the 1500 (he was fourth in London), but lacks the back-half to contend for medals like he does in the 200 and 400
  • Egypt’s Akram Mahmoud.  His second place finish in the 1650 at NCAA’s was heart-wrenching, but the final time (14:31.66) shows how much he progressed with 12 more months under Mark Bernardino’s tutelage.  Mahmoud was fourth place last summer in 14:53.66, and given the leap he made short course, he’s an outside threat to medal
  • Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine.  The 19-year-old is an up-and-coming distance star.  His 14:50.33 from Euros in May is the ninth-fastest time of this Olympiad
  • Pal Joensen of the Faroe Islands has long been a fan favorite due to his unique background, and while he hasn’t won a major international medal since 2014, he’s still worthy of consideration
  • Stephen Milne of Great Britain is just the 14th-fastest this Olympiad, but his swims are timely; he finished fifth last summer in Kazan
Place Swimmer Country Best Time (Since 2012 Olympics) Predicted Time in Rio
1 Gregorio Paltrinieri Italy 14:34.04 14:32.50
2 Sun Yang China 14:41.15 14:35.10
4 Mack Horton Australia 14:39.54 14:39.25
3 Connor Jaeger USA 14:41.20 14:39.80
5 Ryan Cochrane Canada 14:42.48 14:43.50
6 Gabriele Detti Italy 14:46.48 14:47.00
7 Akaram Mahmoud Egypt 14:53.66 14:49.15
8 Mykhailo Romanchuk Ukraine 14:50.33 14:51.00

CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR 2016 RIO OLYMPIC PREVIEWS HERE

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thomaslurzfan
5 years ago

It would be great to see Wellbrock in the final, 14:55 might be enough.
Medals should be between Paltrinieri, Yang and Horton + maybe Detti. I pick Yang for gold, Paltrinieri for silver and Horton for bronze. The 2 americans should also be safe to make the final. The other 2 spots in the final should be between McLoughlin, Akram, Romanchuk, Christiansen, Gyurta, Cochrane. Shuttlesworth, Wellbrock and Joly. In the end Cochrane and one out of Romanchuk/Christiansen/Akram should make the final. I wouldnt be surprised to see Cochrane out of the final and i am pretty sure that Wilimovsky will make the final.

Rafael
Reply to  thomaslurzfan
5 years ago

I would add Jeager on the contender..

But gold is almost a lock

If sun is subpar Paltriniery will take it easily, if Sun is on his game, we might have a race, I would still bet on the Italian and he might go for a WR with competition.

tm71
5 years ago

My picks
Paltrineri
Sun Yang (if he makes it out on the deck)
Jaeger

Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

If Sun shows up, the gold is his. The way he closes the last 50, its hard to pick anyone else.

Dee
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

That finish hasn’t quite been the same since trimetazidine was off the menu. Funnily enough, Chinese athletes with those hard to fathom finishes (Zhang Lin, Ye Shiwen, Sun Yang) have dried up too.

CaSwim
Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

It has not dried up. If anything it is better. Have you seen his improvement in the 200m?

Dee
Reply to  CaSwim
5 years ago

I’m talking about those ridiculous final 50s. Chinese swimmers often had ridiculously fast final 50s over distance events 2009-2012.

Zhang Lin 800fr at 2009 Worlds
Zhao Jing 200bk at 2010 Asian Games
Ye Shiwen & Sun Yang in 2012

They are off the top of my head. Trimetazidine delays the onset of many side-effects of hard energy output, meaning the athletes still felt relatively ‘okay’ when they turn for home in endurance events.Trimetazidine is a big deal in China. It was banned in 2014. Have we seen any Chinese swimmers with such finishing speed since that time? Coincidence? Hmm.

CaSwim
Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

You area funny guy.
Neither Ye nor Zhang have ever tested positive for substances.
I guess it is concidence, unless you want to convince yourself that it isn’t

Dee
Reply to  CaSwim
5 years ago

Because it wasn’t a banned substance when they were swimming insane final 50s – Notice I said it wasnt banned until 2014.

I’m not convincing myself of anything. I’m a drawing comparisons. Trimetazidine is a remarkably common drug in China, relatively uncontrolled and very cheap (much like meldonium in former USSR nations). 16 of the 22 biggest producers of Trimetazidine are, you guessed it, Chinese.

I just find it strange that as soon as a drug that delays the onset of side-effects related to exercise is banned, China’s biggest super star is banned for using it and the frequency that we see startling finishes from Chinese athletes decreases.

I’m not saying it is wholly and certainly related… Read more »

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

WADA has since downgraded Trimetazidine. It is no longer an in competition banned stimulant and has little performance enhancing effects. I doubt Trimetazidine fueled all that energy for Sun in the last 50 of the 1500 to break the WR. It is well known that Sun’s technique, posture in the water, and stroke count are what make his swimming so efficient compared to everyone else in the field, and therefore he is able to conserve a lot of energy for the last 50m.

Besides, I give him the benefit of the doubt that he did not intentionally take Trimetazine to cheat. Everyone knows his story, whether they believe it or not is up to them.

Regardless, he is… Read more »

Dee
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

He is indeed amazing to watch – And I wasn’t suggesting it was wholly down to trimetazidine, but that it has desirable effects on the body during exertion, to varying degrees, is undeniable

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

Trimetazidine is actually not downgraded. In any case, it is now upgraded because you cannot apply TUE.
So the use of TMZ is banned in any situation, in or out of competition.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

Sun yang and his team claimed that the use of TMZ was critical to manage his heart condition.

So why is it he has not dropped dead since stopping using it?

It’s all BS.

They used TMZ to be able to train harder than they would have otherwise been able to do without dropping dead.

CaSwim
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Why hasn’t he not dropped dead?
Lol.
They probably found alternatives and his body adjusted.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  CaSwim
5 years ago

So his heart with chronic and congenital disease immediately adjusted no problem without TMZ, after years of critical TMZ assistance?

LOL.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

There are alternative therapeutics out there. Afterall you said athletes can’t apply for TUE with TMZ. What is the guy supposed to do, keel over and die? (Im sure there are some who’d hope that).

Dee
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

I think the point Attila is making is yes, there are alternatives, but Sun and his team claimed Trimetazidine was specifically critical to managing his heart condition. Of course there are alternatives, but as Attila says, if this specific drug was so critical, why isn’t it now?

Just seems like a few too many coincidences, but I guess we’ll never truly know.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Dee
5 years ago

I get that. And perhaps that explains why he hasnt swam in the 1500 in over a year and claimed heart issues.

The point was rather if he is no longer on TMZ, why isnt he dead and how is he still able to swim? If you are a professional swimmer like Sun is, youre not going to throw your hands up and just give up. You are going to try your best to find an alternative therapy. Did he say TMZ is no longer critical? But what choice does he have? He cant apply for TUE. So he should just quit, right? There are other drugs that can treat his condition; they may not be as effective as… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

Sun Yang has not applied for exemption for any other medication to treat congenital and chronic heart disease that he claimed he had as the reason he took trimetazidine for years.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Youre assuming he is currently taking a banned substance in which case he would have to apply for an exemption. Niether you nor I am his doctor, so we dont really know the extent of his heart condition today. You do know there are heart medications out there that arent banned…

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

Read what I wrote:

Sun Yang claimed that TMZ was CRITICAL in managing his congenital heart disease.

This means, without TMZ he would have died, or at least he wouldn’t have been able to train as an elite swimmer.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

If you believe that Sun Yang had congenital and chronic heart disease that required TMZ for years, so must also believe that the whole Russian team suffered similar heart disease that required intake of meldonium.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

You have to take each case/situation individually. Sun had evidence to support he has a heart condition. The Russian athletes are also given the opportunity to make their case, but it appears Russia’s problem is far bigger than just taking Meldonium and claiming heart problems because it involved a cover up and tampering with samples.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

And Sun Yang was never punished.

Now, try to argue against this fact.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

If he tested positive (and he did), I’m sure he had to serve his time – it may not have been sufficient in the eyes of many, but the anti-doping governing body decides the punishment, not Sun. He was also stripped of his medals in the Asian games after the positive test. Like I previously posted, I give him the benefit of the doubt. Time will tell if he is indeed a “cheater”, but as far as Im concerned, he did not intentionally take TMZ in 2012 to gain an advantage as he made his case with sufficient evidence and it was accepted by the appropriate authorities.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

FINA or WADA NEVER PUNISHED HIM.

You didn’t know if this FACT clearly show you ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO IDEA what you are talking about.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

You claimed he only took 2012?

Even he and his doctor HAS STATED SUN YANG TOOK TMZ FOR YEARS.

LOOK IT UP.

Jingyu
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2878393/WADA-decides-against-China-swimming-star-appeal.html
How about this one? Does the decision made by WADA that it did not appeal against Chinese authorities’ three-month ban on Sun Yang look like evidence you don’t want to see?

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

He made his case with sufficient evidence?

What sufficient evidence?
What authorities?

Please spell them out.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

First of all your logic is completely off to one side — biased against Sun regardless of what he has consistently said about the reason for taking TMZ and his heart problem, secondly you are reading more into what I wrote in response to your posts and making wild inferences.

Sun said TMZ was “critical” for managing his heart condition, but he did not say TMZ was the ONLY medication he could take to manage his heart condition. Since it is now banned, he has no choice but to find an alternative therapy. There are people who are allergic to a certain medication that is critical for treating a life-threatening condition and therefore have no choice but to try… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

Please just answer these two questions:

Who punished Sun Yang?
And when was this punishment?

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

It is highly interesting to note that your view of the Chinese dopers are different than your views on the Russian dopers.

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Take that up with WADA, FINA, IOC et al. Apparently Im not the only one.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

So, which authorities you referred to when you mentioned “the appropriate authorities”?

Did you not know that the Chinese federation did NOT report to either FINA or WADA that Sun Yang tested positive to TMZ?
And FINA and WADA only knew after a chinese publication leaked the info more than 6 months after the positive test?

I bet you did not know this.

You said:
“He was also stripped of his medals in the Asian games after the positive test”

HAHAHA… CLEARLY YOU ARE PAID BY THE CHINESE OR YOU ARE COMPLETELY CLUELESS.

His positive test was in May 2014, Asian Games was in September 2014.
and Sun Yang are NOT STRIPPED OF ASIAN GAMES MEDALS, because… Read more »

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the way China handled Sun’s positive TMZ test and subsequent punishment. It is unfortunate that China’s anti-doping agency and swimming federation did not report the positive test immediately. In hind sight they should have been more transpant from the start.

Everyone has his/her idea about how much someone else should be punished. And the majority of the time, human nature wants to see that person punished to the highest extent the law would allow. Sun made his case, and the courts in China handed him the punishment they thought was appropriate. Again, WADA, FINA, IOC had every opportunity to impose further punishments, but they did not. I would imagine, they could not… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Christopher Schroder
5 years ago

What punishment?

Please give us evidence that there was some punishment.

And by covering up Sun Yang’s positive test, the Chinese has broken WADA and FINA rules.

What would you have said if USA had done the same thing?

ANd China has broken further rule by bringing Dr. Ba Zhen to Asian Games.

How much are you getting money from the chinese government to keep lying about the chinese dopers?

Track
5 years ago

Paltrinieri needs to end the race in the middle 500. if sun is anywhere near him within the last 300 it’s game over. If Paltrinieri gets himself clean water like in the euros instead of what he did in Kazan (the 800 where he huge around with everyone) he wins. Otherwise sun wins if he shows up.

marklewis
5 years ago

Even though this is the longest race, it will be one of the most exciting on the men’s schedule.

Is this the best 1500 free field ever at the Olympics?

Jaeger, Yang, Paltrinieri, Horton, Cochrane will all battling the entire 30 laps.

I predict a crazy sprint finish at the end for the medals.

Rafael
Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

Not from Paltrinieri.. he will go hard and fast all the way.. he is not the kind to go with the field them speed up… he is a guy who can 14:40 but can´t do a fast split even if needed..

Chase
Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Yeah paltrinieri will have to out-pace everyone in the middle of the race if he wants to win

Pau Hana
Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

and sadly, NBC will cut away after the 100, return from the commercial with it in a small inset while they air a human interest story about one of the Americans, and then Rowdy will talk about somebody else until the last 50 when he’ll scream about people breathing on one side.

Rafael
Reply to  Pau Hana
5 years ago

Actually Rowdy will talk about Phelps or he will ask where is Missy on 100 back and so on..

Pau Hana
Reply to  Rafael
5 years ago

Yes, that was what I meant by “somebody else” – someone not in the race. By the last day it maybe a new star rather than MP or Missy.

By the way, Dana Vollmer is a mom. One might not be aware because Rowdy never mentions it during a race. ????

Christopher Schroder
Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

I agree. This race will be very exciting. The field is much more wide open than in the last Olympics. Lots of great swimmers. Its gunna come down to grit, stamina, and who has enough in his tank to take it home in the end. Should be a great finish.
1. Sun Yang
2. Gregorio Paltrinieri
3. Ryan Chocrane

Pau Hana
5 years ago

A quibbling point…. but while Pal Joensen competes for Faroes at most meets, as a dependent territory that did not field an Olympic team before 1996 the Faroes are not an Olympic country; he will be competing for Denmark in Rio.

Big Tex
5 years ago

If Sun Yang gets a medal in Rio, I hope the crowd crushes his cheating soul with a thunderous “boo” when he steps up onto the medal stand.

Paltrieneri
Sun Yang (booooo)
Mack Horton

CaSwim
Reply to  Big Tex
5 years ago

Let it go mate.
It was nearly two years ago.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  CaSwim
5 years ago

And yet he was never punished.

CaSwim
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

He was banned.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  CaSwim
5 years ago

When?
Did Fina even know about the ban?

CASWIM
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

He was banned May 2014 I believe for three months.
And surely FINA knew about it if everyone with knowledge of international swimming like yourself heard of the ban.

commonwombat
5 years ago

Paltrinieri should win this; one would think he would have the big diesel fired up from the start and give himself plenty of clear water by 1000.

Sun is the only one that I can see with the potential to beat Paltrinieri; however I’m tending to thinking that the shorter races seem to more his target these days.

Horton can swim the time, but can he do it internationally ? At this point, that remains the question mark and Kazan does raise some legitimate doubts. Illness may have been a significant factor but if he was so incapacitated, then why/how did he swim the 800 to the level he did ? Clearly has to be considered a factor & may… Read more »

robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

So if you doubt Horton’s illness in Kazan, why don’t you rate his swim in the 800 metres as having the ability to step up,

commonwombat
Reply to  robbos
5 years ago

Please don’t play semantics, Rob ! The 800 was a less pressure event being a non Olympic event. In the Olympic events, for better or worse, he “folded”.

The illness reason has been put forward as the reason for his disappointing performances in the 400/1500. However, the fact that he was still able to swim at the level he did at 800 DOES bring into question “just how debilitated was he if he was able to swim that at this same meet ?”. In other words, it creates an impression “OK, it can clearly explain some of it but not sure it explains all of it”. Not saying saying that my view is necessarily right but you don’t always take… Read more »

robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

I’m not playing semantics with you CW. You are putting your argument that Horton may not have been ill because of his 800 metres bronze, I then asked why then did you not rate his 800 as being to handle the pressure, you said that was because the 800 was was less pressure being a non Olympic event.
Well maybe others took the 800 with the same attitude, keeping in mind their main aim was the 1500 & took it easy, or even missed the event in order keep themselves fit & firing for the 1500 hence why Horton was able to claim the bronze.

commonwombat
Reply to  robbos
5 years ago

I never implied that he may not have been ill but If he were so incapacitated, then he frankly should have withdrawn or his performances be uncompetitive, ie not making that final. The fact that they were not … and he was beating swimmers such as Jaeger who swam faster than him in both 400 & 1500 does give some credence to an impression that said illness may not have been the ENTIRE story with what went wrong.

I hope he silences the sceptics over the next 2 weeks. regrettably his performances in Kazan have provided some legitimate grounds to foster some scepticism. Thats all I have to say & wish to say on the matter.

robbos
Reply to  robbos
5 years ago

Australia currently has the best crop of swimmers I have ever seen for Australia, the likes of Horton, McEvoy, McKeon, all on the improve & swimming best times in the trials to go with the likes of the more established stars like the Campbell sisters, Larkin, Seebohm & Maggnussens. Now, whether they can win golds or not is something we will find out in the next 2-3 weeks. I expect most of those swimmers to swim near or close to their best. Now whether that is good enough to beat the likes of Paltrinieri, Sun, Ledecky, Adrian etc, will depend on how well they swim & how well their competitors swims. But your expectation of most of the Aussie swimmers… Read more »

commonwombat
Reply to  robbos
5 years ago

My terms of reference, I suspect, are considerably longer than yours and my caution is borne of hard experience ….. I’ve seen the Montreals & the Seouls. I wish nobody ill and hope that they ALL will perform well ….. sadly it normally plays out that less than half will swim to their Trials times. Some of that majority will at least perform competently, others sadly won’t.

Neither you or I have perfect prescience on who they (performers/non performers) will be but where you have some intl “form”, it does at least give some guide as to whether they “rise” to the occaison at World level of not. Where someone has a questionable track record, isnt a note of caution… Read more »

robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

Like you said every country experiences not replicating their trials times.

From;
Seebohm v Neilsen v Hosszu 100 & 200
Horton v Sun v Paltrinieri v Sun 400 & 1500
McEvoy v Manadou v Adrian 50 & 100
McKeon v Ledecky v Sjostrom 200
McKeon v RK

Neither you or I know who will swim beyond or below their trial times or best time in past 18 month at RIO. Who will crack & who punch above their weight. All we have is the recent best time in the last 18 months leading up to Rio to judge who is favourite.
I remember the biggest upset in Seoul was a certain Duncan Armstrong who… Read more »

commonwombat
Reply to  robbos
5 years ago

Damned right !! There’s always going to be a few bolters from whatever country who get up an snag an upset win. Sometimes they’re Aussies (Sieben, Armstrong) sometimes from all sorts of places (Nesty – Suriname). Things is for the bigger teams, the bolters tend to be trade-offs against the more fancied ones who don’t fire

Anyway, good that we do have these exchanges without any acrimony.

robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
5 years ago

All Good CW!!!!! I just think this will be Australia’s best return in a very long time, but yes they could end up with 4 golds or 11 golds.

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A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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